FG launches investigation into collapsed building in Enugu
By Uzoh Ugwueze
An agency of the Federal Government, the Nigeria Building and Roads Research Institute, NBRRI, government, has commenced investigation into last Friday’s collapse of a three-storey building located at Nweke Okuzu street, Ugbene II in Enugu East Local Government Area of Enugu State.
This is coming on the heels of the directive of the Enugu Capital Territory Development Authority, ECTDA, that henceforth, any building that has been left uncompleted for five years would undergo integrity test.
Chairman of ECTDA, Dr. Josef Onoh who made the disclosure, said that if such uncompleted building fails the integrity test, it will be demolished and appropriate sanctions placed to forestall further occurrence of building collapse.
The NBRRI investigating team led by Engr. Gerald Chukwuma said that the agency was alerted about the collapsed building; hence they were dispatched from Abuja to come and take samples of the debris of the collapsed building so that tests would be conducted to find out the cause of the building collapse.
According to Chukwuma, the agency would need to carry out a Scientific-based research on the samples, after which they would determine the probable cause of the collapse, noting however, that from the onsite and physical investigations, they realized that some of the concretes were poor, same as reinforcement bars that they suspected were inappropriate, as well as poor supervision.
He said generally there were steps to follow in construction to avert collapses such as soil testing, design approval by the appropriate authorities, and supervision to ensure compliance to design.
“We are not an agency that assigns blames but we are independent investigators. We get information, get data on what causes building collapse and see how we can liaise with persons involved, give them reasons why such things happen and also in a round table find ways in which we can proffer solutions to avert such issues,” Chukwuma said.
The premises of collapsed three storey building which crashed into a nearby residential building was during the weekend sealed by the Enugu Capital Territory Development Authority for investigation after which it would evacuate the rubbles of the building.
Owner of the affected residential house, Mr. Ndukwe Bamidele said his family has been displaced following the crashing of the building into his own house.
He, however, thanked God that no life was lost in his family members present when the sad incident occurred.